New techniques in linear and non-linear laser optics in muscle research

F. Vanzi, M. Capitanio, L. Sacconi, C. Stringari, R. Cicchi, M. Canepari, M. Maffei, N. Piroddi, C. Poggesi, V. Nucciotti, M. Linari, G. Piazzesi, C. Tesi, R. Antolini, V. Lombardi, R. Bottinelli, F. S. Pavone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review proposes a brief summary of two applications of lasers to muscle research. The first application (laser tweezers), is now a well-established technique in the field, adopted by several laboratories in the world and producing a constant stream of original data, fundamental for our improved understanding of muscle contraction at the level of detail that only single molecule measurements can provide. As an example of the power of this technique, here we focus on some recent results, revealing the performance of the working stroke in at least two distinct steps also in skeletal muscle myosin. A second laser-based technique described here is second-harmonic generation; the application of this technique to muscle research is very recent. We describe the main results obtained thus far in this area and the potentially remarkable impact that this technology may have in muscle research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-479
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
Issue number5-7
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Laser
  • Optical tweezers
  • Second harmonic generation
  • SHG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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